July 2021

Will Reports: A lot of rain happened this month but not much by the native planting & weed-disposal gang. The trappers have been busy though, doing their rounds of the traplines. Plenty of dog walkers not under control as per usual. The photos were taken in a “dogs on lead area” No wonder that the weka are scarce now.And some people are using the closed track by Grassy Saddle. How do they...
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June 2021

Will Reports: A Great Day on Wednesday the 23rd June for the help we received and the sunny day. Twenty two people from our group, Keep Richmond Beautiful and council staff and contractors. Also included were some friends of Bruce’s. Five hundred natives plants all in before lunchtime (gone by lunchtime!) The photo at left shows the line up of vehicles on Hill Street from where we ferried people...
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May 2021

Will Reports: A welcome to Marleen who wishes to join the group and thanks to Brent Beloe for his donation of a larger tree, which we planted up near Grassy Saddle. For me, I’m retiring from all voluntary work at the end of this planting season. It’s been a long journey of doing this from talking to scout/cubs/girl guides/venturers, school classes and youth groups on the outdoors in one form or...
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April Report

Will Reports: More planting up around the table on Grassy Saddle but some have been disturbed. It’s just the School Holidays! But do wish people could think just a little? Also we have had one rat trap and tunnel stolen! Plus a Geocaching ‘location’ that was nearby was found and tossed over the fence – guess some of the trinkets are missing. Anyway, the GPS thing is still...
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March 2021

Will Reports: Three mice caught at home over night in the same trap. It is one of those traps with four sets and I’m still looking to catch four at once.  Total for our place for this month was 5 mice.  A welcome to Len Davenport who lives along Hill Street and is keen to join our group.  We have been clearing and preparing around the logs/slash heap by the table on Grassy Saddle...
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February 2021

Will Reports: Not a great deal done this month except for preparing for the winter plantings. We have tracked down more vines and poisoned, that have sprung up through our earlier plantings. Kevin and I have been sorting out are collection of native seedling plants – mainly keeping them watered. From hardly seeing a wasp nest the last few months to finding nine in February (and five at...
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A Return to Walk the St James

I first walked the St James in the year 2000 with Frank Saxton, then again with Ron, Polly and Shirl in 2014. So this was the third time and with Karla. The track, depending what you read, goes from to 64km to 67km long. We chose to start at the long end of 67km starting from the Lewis Pass car park. So we were on our way. Ho! We Have Got Our Country Back! Well, almost as there are still many...
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December 2020

Will Reports: Spraying and clearing weeds seeking out those pest vines that have sprung up in our plantings through December. Thanks to Paul Peychers for another lot of native plants. Some have been planted out and some potted up for the next planting season. Thanks also to Ross MacDonald and Brian Hirst for their gift of all those native plants and to Richard Hilton of TDC for his help with...
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January Report 2021

Will Reports: January has been sort of catching up with things like weed spraying (quite a lot) releasing around the new plants and looking out for pest vines that have crept up here and there through our plantings. The trappers on their traplines haven’t caught too many pests, maybe because of the dryness or perhaps with all the pine trees gone nearby, we haven’t had much infiltration? Earlier,...
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November 2020

 Will Reports: Very quiet this month due to the logging, then we had some rain, which was good, so went up a couple of times with Dawn, did some more late planting and weeding plus removed some old spray guards.   Bryan Riley Reports:  Hi Will,   Only one rat caught on the waterfall line. Nothing for the Wilks line. Cheers, Bryan.  Bruce Harvey Reports: Hi Will, Not...
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Tadmor Valley

One Saturday morning we met up with other members of our small tramping club at the turnoff on to the Tadmor – Glenhope Road and then followed the metal and dusty road that ran parallel for the most part, of the old Nelson to Kawatiri Railway Line. A forest fire had altered some of the landscape somewhat making it hard to recognise any feature but eventually we found the turnoff to wander...
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Maud and Maggie

I’ve been a number of times and although the first part of the walk up the Maud Creek is over farm land it is still an interesting place for a wander. So we tagged along with a small tramping club for a day walk up the Maud Creek.  An early farmer named two creeks on his farm after his daughters, Maggie and Maud. Both the Maggie and Maud creeks, or rivers, join and flow into the Howard, thence...
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October Report 2020

Kevin Reports: Rain has been good for late plantings, with about another 75 plants on the saddle and along the track. I took quite a few (4 or 5 trays) but at least a couple of these were tussocks, Maori Onion and Haloragus. Earlier I probably put in about 24 woody plants; Kaka Beak, Kowhai, Akeake. The logging and resulting alteration of the terrain has diverted run-off on to parts of the...
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September Report

Will Reports: We only had one day working up the gully in September due to the logging operations. Kevin and I were able to do a lot of planting, mainly on Grassy Saddle but had special permission and the next day it rained so that was good. We had another day early October as soon as the tracks were open to the public again so did more plantings. Most of the plants were understory species,...
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August Report

Will Reports: Not a great deal going on up the gully this month – or next month too I guess, but we have done something! In preparation for the logging we shifted the table on Grassy Saddle plus the track sign posts up higher and we will put them back once the logging has finished. Not sure about the table though as many have said it’s better where it is now. All closed. From Grassy Saddle...
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Cavalcade 2020

Another Cavalcade.  Shirl and I, along with friends Val and Geoff, joined the Rides of March Cavalcade in 2002. This time, and 18 years later, with walks of 16 to 25 km per day I thought it might be a bit too much for me.  These cavalcades were made up of a number of groups; horses, wagons, trampers and even bike riders, travelling over several days, old gold mining trails in...
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June Report 2020

Will Reports: A bit late this month as we have just about been full time up the gully with the planting and such. From Alison Nicholl: “Hi Will, I went up and did my traps this morning (early June). No catches to report. However I am sorry to report that I think this is the last time I can do the traps! I hope you can find some keen person to take over my line and the egg run. I have enjoyed...
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May Report 2020

Will Reports: Due to the harvesting of the pine trees above Grassy Saddle, David Burt, Kevin and I removed a number of signposts and then the picnic table itself on Grassy Saddle to a more ‘secure’ spot out of the way of any possible damage. We will restore the signage once we are given the all clear. A few days ago I received an email: “Hi Will, You may not remember me, but last spring I was...
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April 2020

A poem written especially for Will’s Gully by Ken Taylor ~ Loving Nature Going up the gully For bush clean air Makes you feel jolly As you wander there To listen for bird-song Do not make haste As you stroll along Never fast your pace In Richmond’s bush surround Hear natures purest tone Clear cascading waters sound When dashing over stones Known Bush of Nature ALL so very pure For love of nature...
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Walks to Mt Arthur, North Peak and the Champion Copper smelter and mine.

Mt Arthur Walk:   We arranged the walks for our 50+ walking group the month of January and Mt Arthur (1795m asl)  was second on the list. Twenty walkers started off at the Flora carpark (at 920m asl) to head up to the Mt Arthur Hut (1310m asl) in time for morning tea.  After a cuppa, a spell, and offering a small crumb to a weka, some went down to the Flora Hut, some...
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